The Trinamool Congress on Thursday claimed to have a majority in the Bongaon municipality after four of its councillors, who had recently defected to the BJP, returned to the party fold.
TMC leader and state Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim re-inducted the four councillors into the TMC Thursday, in presence of party’s North 24 Parganas district president and state minister Jyotipriya Mullick.
He claimed that they now had the support of 14 councillors, including one from the Congress, in the 22-seat Bongaon municipality in North 24 Parganas district.
Hakim alleged that BJP leaders Mukul Roy and Arjun Singh had threatened his party councillors to join BJP. “They were intimidated and threatened by BJP leaders to join the saffron party. Roy and Singh have been forcing our party councillors to join the BJP. We were just waiting for them to come back as they support TMC from their heart,” Hakim said on Thursday.
After the Lok Sabha polls, 12 out of 20 TMC councillors had defected to the BJP in the first week of July. After one of the defected councillors returned to the TMC, the party held a trust vote on July 16 and claimed to have got hold of the civic body with the support of the lone Congress councillor.
The 11 BJP councillors, however, could not attend the trust vote as they were allegedly locked up inside the civic body office. Later, the party moved the Calcutta High Court against the trust vote claiming that they have the majority.
With four BJP councillors defecting to the TMC, the BJP will now find it difficult to sustain the case in the High Court.
“The ruling TMC is using police to slap false cases against them if they do not abandon the BJP. This is very unfortunate. They might have gone back to the TMC, but mentally they are with the BJP,” said state BJP vice president Biswapriya Roy Chowdhury.
The 11 BJP councillors had moved the High Court against the trust motion. During the hearing, Justice Samapti Chatterjee had observed that the TMC government was making a mockery of democracy. The court hearing in the case is complete and the verdict is awaited.